I have always been a notorious planner, or as I prefer to put it, I’m goal-oriented. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been one to anticipate my next step, planning what I need to do to get to that next level both personally and professionally. When I entered college, I already knew what I wanted to major in (Communications), what field I wanted to work in (PR), and what city I wanted to live in (New York or London). I was going to get married, have two kids and become a Vice President at my organization by the time I was 30. I was always one to envision where I saw myself in the next five years or next ten years. And I would furiously map out how I was going to make that all happen.
Make God Laugh
There is a saying that goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”
Fast forward to 2011. I’m 26 years old, newly married, and moving to my husband’s new duty station with the Air Force. In Oklahoma. Definitely not what I was expecting. I had never lived outside of my hometown of Los Angeles, and the military life was completely foreign to me.
I left my family (all of whom lived in California), my tight-knit group of girlfriends, and my thriving career to set out for the Midwest. Life was filled with a series of question marks. I found myself, for once, unable to really plan what came next.
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Trusting God in Seasons of Change
We all undergo periods of transition at some point. Perhaps after getting married, a big move, graduating, a career change, or any other number of circumstances. It’s these seasons of change that enable God to mold us into becoming the best version of ourselves…as long as we allow Him.
It was in that space of uncertainty back in 2011 that I felt God pushing me to finally let go of the pen and let Him write out my next chapter. As I grew deeper in my prayer life in those early years as a newlywed, my communication with the Lord became stronger. I found myself thriving in ways that I never could have planned on my own.
When we give our own personal fiat, the Holy Spirit brings us into deeper communion with the Lord. Through consistent prayer and seeking the intercession of the Saints, we can slowly start to let go and put on a more patient spirit.
Casting Aside Worry
While it may not always be smooth sailing, God invites us to trust in His guidance each step of the way.
In my own experience, despite my initial anxiety about moving, I ended up loving Oklahoma City. I made life-long friendships with people I may never have met otherwise. People from different walks of life which helped open up my perspective about the world. My husband and I became regular volunteers at our local parish and developed a solid relationship with our priest, who we went to for frequent spiritual direction and Confession.
Knowing what I know now, I would have looked at my 26-year-old self and said, “Stop worrying.”
When we relinquish control over our lives and this need to know every single detail, God is finally able to do His work in us. There is no need to try to micromanage Him.
Ready to Receive
A spiritual director of mine used to say, “Live life with open palms instead of clenched fists.”
Sisters, learn to let go of being in control and allow God to place His blessings in your hands at His own divine and appointed time. He knows when you are ready to receive whatever comes next. Let Him do His work in you, recognizing that His plans for you far surpass anything you could dream up on your own.
A poem from Rainer Maria Rilke sums it up beautifully:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
At Peace with the Present
Sisters, whatever changes you may be going through right now, pray for the grace to be at peace with the present. Be grateful for the bountiful blessings that surround you today instead of being constantly preoccupied with what’s around the corner. Surrender the rest to Him with a patient and trusting spirit. He’s got you.
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April Deocariza is a Southern California native now living the expat life in Germany. When not working full-time as a mommy to her one-year-old son, she loves trekking around Europe and enjoying delicious food. Relaxing with a coffee, warm cookie, and a napping child is her happy place. Find out more about her here.